1. The first is that I felt there was no true benefit for participating in the scandal function. Being a noob, I thought everyone had to choose one. So I figured if everyone had a scandal, I might as well pick 7/10 (not knowing what I was doing but thinking that if everyone had a scandal, I would need to have a scandal level that would keep me competitive with everyone else). The thing is, if someone picks a 7, they should have benefits greater than someone who chose not to participate in the scandals or chose a lesser scandal. If a non-scandal person gets a $10 million donation, the same card for a 7 point scandal person should be like $70 million. The risk should be rewarded as it felt that there was no reward for risking a scandal that essentially ruined the campaign/career of the character. All it appeared to do is have a looming effect on the character with no advantages of participating in it.
Also, if a scandal is released, there needs to be the exact story given to the candidate of the scandal. If there are two stories, the admin’s story and the player’s story, the player will always appear to be lying because the player is using his imagination instead of truly understanding of what happened. No way to spin or shape the scandal other than resigning or giving back money which is an admittance of guilt; otherwise, your character is essentially out of the game because his/her mere existence jeopardizes the party.
A VP scandal also shouldn’t have wrecked the Presidential candidate’s polling as much as it did. A negative affect should have taken place, but I don’t know what numbers you used, but there were WAY too many blue states giving up on Ward and the result was essentially handing the election to the GOP. I could see the swing states/undecided voters start to move Republican. Technically, a better tactic would be for the opposing party to receive a great momentum card or Ward/Solin campaign should have been slapped with a -40 momentum or something like that. That way, we could have recovered, but it would have taken work.
2. The second is having event cards. Something to spice the game up. Fitz never dealt with anything of substance (not entirely his fault….). We should have cards drawn every schedule with potential conflicts and circumstances like natural disasters, civil unrest in other countries, Barbara Bush or Jimmy Carter dies, Russian aggression, large business goes bankrupt and millions of jobs are at stake, etc... This way, there is more for the POTUS and legislative branch to fix or make worse.
I proposed this in the Cloak Room and understand that it was a new idea that couldn’t be integrated mid-round, but I think it is important as it creates opportunities to use brilliant problem solving or potentially make mistakes the opposition may use. I am willing to help create this if you need along with any help from other players who have ideas for event cards.
3. 3rd, I also have no idea why there were no debates. I mean, our democratic debate was awesome. 43 replies and thorough facilitated by an unbiased player. The debate had ZERO impact on the primary or the campaign which was a lot of work for nothing despite what seemed to be a strategic dialogue and conversation over issues.
Also, if not the primaries (which they still should have) but at least the POTUS election should have had something between Ward and Mac. Ward, Hong, and I agreed to do 3 debates in the primaries and only did one because we realized it was irrelevant this round. The first debate was hosted by our DNC chair/Cardinal Fan who acted like Jake Tapper. he did an excellent job. The 2nd one was going to be a town hall debate where any player can ask a question like a voter as normal town hall events might be. The 3rd was going to be another generic debate with a moderator like an admin or even Cardinal Fan again. The problem was, it was ignored. Just a missing important piece from a campaign game. Again, the admin’s don’t have to facilitate it either. But some impact should have occurred due to debates and repercussions should happen to those candidates who don’t participate.
4. 4th. No schedule should advance until all PRs, townhalls, and other factors are graded. We can wait another day or two if an admin is busy with life. We get that. No need to advance a day just because we hit the deadline. Players should meet the deadline, but get all the information first, then proceed.
5. Primary polling should be displayed consistently or change polling acquisition. Playing in the dark is not great or fun. Either we should remove the 30 minutes per poll limitation and allow everyone to purchase as many polls as we have money for or make polling available every schedule-two schedules for primaries. As you mentioned, the polls are not 100% accurate as they shouldn’t be, but the primary season was difficult to navigate as I had no idea where I was doing well or poorly and would have to have spent too much time not campaigning only to receive notice that I wasn’t doing well.
6. Home state advantage. Is this a thing? If it was, it didn’t feel like it was. Additionally, DNC/RNC conventions should have had an impact where they were. Maybe not enough to flip the state the convention was hosted, but some strategy where the convention was located could have made things more interesting.
Speaking of the convention, that was not clearly understood. Perhaps it was me being new to this style of campaign game. When we were told to have 8 NPCs, I don’t remember hearing anywhere that we were supposed to write their speeches for them just that they spoke on Ward/Solin behalf. Trust me, I would have done it for them. Additionally, we had every speech for players in our WarRoom but not everyone was clear about what to do about it.
Last thing about conventions, the Republican ticket should not have been allowed to campaign in June/July since the nominee was not selected until the convention. Democrats would have had a contested convention but I dropped to allow Ward the nominee. Will Conway did not step aside, you divided Hayton’s delegates 50/50 resulting in Mac having enough to win the nominee. None of this would have been decided until the convention. Additionally, there was no outrage from Conway supporters for the RNC choosing Macmillan. Those contested conventions are vicious and usually divide a party instead of uniting them. If Conway yielded, that would have changed things as tempers would cool down except in Bernie’s case. lol
7. Allow for more influence over NPCs in senate and house races as well as active NPCs who would be campaigning on behalf of candidates. First, the obnoxious influx of Republican senators in many Democratic states was just absurd. It can happen, but whatever factors or global formulas that were used skewed the senate in the GOP’s favor in both elections when there was barely any influence by player characters. States like Connecticut (with rising Democrat Chris Murphy), Maryland, Rhode Island, California (Caitlyn Jenner would have lost epically due to no Republican Evangelical would show up to vote or vote for her. California has not had a Republican Senator since 1992. Only a player character should have had the ability to win there unless there was enormous campaigning effort to get a Republican there. Which was not the case… and Caitlyn Jenner was an unrealistic candidate let alone winner) etc.. since none of these people were opposed by real players. The only one (win in a liberal state) that made sense was Warren losing Massachusetts because of Gabriel Gonzalez stealing votes from her as a strong 3rd party candidate ruining a main party’s dominance.
One option to fix this is to allow each party to place an NPC schedule for these senators or help them help themselves in their senate races. Additionally, the DNC chair/team as well as the RNC chair/team should select which NPCs run even if it is just to add to primary contests.
As for other NPCs, each party should have had NPCs who would campaign on their behalf such as Bill/Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Jimmy Carter, Collin Powell and George W Bush, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, etc.. Why not allow each party to select several NPC campaigners, give each a rating, and then allow them to have 6 hours or maybe 6 Rallies of campaigning each schedule that can be used to boost senate races or the Presidency?
8. Endorsements should be included. I know there is a small incorporation with some cards such as Newspaper ads giving more Name Recognition or a big donor gives you money, but I mean influence and boosts in states. For example, Bernie endorsing a progressive candidate for president would make sense and would impact that candidate’s pull with progressives across the country while Governor John Kasich endorsing someone like Mac would give him a bonus in the Ohio Primary. Organizations like the NAACP, Right to Life, NRA, and other organizations would likely announce support for candidates that would give boosts based on their AR and stances. Candidates should also be able to campaign for those endorsements to increase their chances of getting a boost. Adding an endorsement factor/formula to the game would make it more realistic and create more variations to strategizing a campaign. I am willing to help discuss this more accurately if you want.
9. Public Releases need to do more than affect AR during campaigns. This is where a candidate can lay out their policy and receive feedback on it. Otherwise, we are stuck with “I have a plan. Yes, a great plan. The best plan. Believe me.” If one candidate is using PRs effectively, they should gain momentum or a bonus if the opposing candidate does not match the PRs. This involves staying on top of your campaign and election and controlling the narrative. Ward/Solin had so many press releases explaining policy while the Republicans were silent. The democratic ticket was working for the votes while the GOP ticket remained quiet and they benefited from not saying anything.
10. Post the results of races/elections where everyone can see them as soon as you have them. I had to ask Ward or even had Ward comment to me about the results of an election without any knowledge on my part or ability to see the results for myself. Eventually, they were posted, but that was after the fact.
11. Don’t doc points for addressing other issues and then say we aren’t addressing enough issues. I lost points in a primary town hall for talking about Net Neutrality among every demographic except the three left ones because quote “This issue is not really a big deal with many people except far left SJWs who think that anti-net neutrality is the coming of the Apocalypse.” Which I thought was a biased evaluation/rating. Moderates may not care about some issues but bringing up other issues wouldn’t make them view a candidate less unless the issue was extremely outlandish. No change would have made sense but losing points was a bit cheap imo especially when I provided a thorough explanation of why it was needed and the harms of not having it.